ATTY JONATHAN MASON - MODERATOR
Jonathan is graduate of Howard University and Georgetown University Law Center. He began his legal career in 1992 as a litigator in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina office of a large regional law firm. Jonathan began representing “talent” in entertainment-related transactions. Jonathan representation of independent record labels, music producers, songwriters, production companies, concert promoters, visual artists, and fashion models. Jonathan's practice also includes entertainment-related litigation, including royalty and commission disputes, copyright infringement, and trademark infringement matters.
Gaye Adegbalola was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She finished Boston University with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. She has a Master's degree in Educational Media (with a concentration in photography) from Virginia State University.
In the early '70s, she began her teaching career, while she directed Harambee 360º Experimental Theater. She was able to creatively use performance as a tool to assist black youth in gaining confidence as they struggled with identity issues during the spread of "integration."
By maintaining the blues legacy, she now sees herself as a contemporary griot – keeping the history alive, delivering messages of empowerment, ministering to the heartbroken, and finding joy in the mundane. As a founding member of Saffire – the Uppity Blues Women, she became a full-time performer.
EUGENE "HIDEAWAY" BRIDGES
Born in 1963 in New Orleans and raised in Amite, Louisiana, the son of Otheneil Bridges Sr, also known as blues guitarist Hideaway Slim, Eugene is the fourth child of five. His mother was from the Bullock family (the same as Anna Mae Bullock better known as Tina Turner) and Eugene claims he got his guitar skills from the Bridges side and his voice from the Bullocks. At five he was already playing with his father around Louisiana; with his brothers as The Bridges Brothers he sang gospel and was the musician of his church touring with the Pastor, Elder AA Edwards. At thirteen Eugene was entering R&B talent shows and had formed his first R&B band The Five Stars.
Wears many crowns — mother, entrepreneur, facilitator and lawyer with a particular calling towards community building, peace work and Black liberation. She is a manager, land steward and advisor to Foxfire Ranch an 80-acre recreational farm and entertainment venue that has been in the Hollowell family for more than a century. She is an excellent hostess committed to holding inter-generational spaces for rest, retreat, deep learning, connection, healing and celebration. Her storytelling is rooted in ancestry, culture and Mississippi’s long standing legacies of Black landownership. Annette Hollowell wears many crowns — mother, entrepreneur, facilitator and lawyer with a particular calling towards community building, peace work and Black liberation.
SEAN "MACK" McDONALD
The college lad just turned 19 and has already raised eyebrows as a fabulous rising blues singer/guitar protégé. The talented young virtuoso played the King Biscuit Festival, for example, but only after putting school first. “They wanted me to play at the King Biscuit Festival the year before I actually played. But because I had just started school and it was my first year, my mom was like, no, you got to be in school! I got together with Rich Patton, who is a harmonica player out of Alabama, and we did a 45-minute set of a bunch of blues numbers that I had gotten together from older musicians like Jimmy Reed, T Bone Walker – a lot of my influences. After that, I was just walking around and meeting lots of musicians like Marcus Cartwright, Marquise Knox out of St. Louise, Keith Johnson out of Clarksdale. His primary mentor has been Jontavious Willis. “I did my first show with Jontavious Willis, 2017. I have Jontavious Willis to thank for a lot of good stuff that’s been happening to me in the past few years.